11 Feb 2020

BYOM – The next step towards the digital workplace

BYOM – The next step towards the digital workplace

presented by Barco

How can we take workplace productivity to the next level? For many years, improving workplace productivity and optimising the capacity of the workforce has been a challenge for businesses, governments and organisations.

Back in 2010 in a ground-breaking paper, Intel believed to have found the answer: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).


The research identified that “61% of Generation Y and 50% of 30+ workers believe the tech tools they use in their personal lives are more effective and productive than those used in their work life”.

Even back then, 60% of workers already used a smartphone for work purposes and 31% wished they could. Since then, the BYOD market has taken off swiftly and is set to hit almost $367 billion by 2022.

67% of people use their own devices at work and 87% of companies depend to some extent on their employees’ ability to access mobile business apps from their personal smartphones.

The trend to allow and facilitate BYOD in office environments has benefited both employers, who report an annual saving of £350 per employee per year, and employees, who save 58 minutes per day and increase their productivity by 34% by using their own portable devices.

Increasing productivity by allowing people to use the tools they are most familiar with might seem obvious today, but what is the next step to take after BYOD?

In our most recent research on ‘The Future of Meetings’, we have discovered how to level up workplace productivity even more.

In the transforming world of work where the automation of jobs and the gig economy rules, millennials (natural collaborators who have grown up with online sharing technologies like Google docs, online gaming, social media, cloud-based apps and more) have a need for business technology matching their lifestyle.

They want more flexible, remote work environments and prefer intuitive (own) devices and tools to collaborate seamlessly anywhere they want. With BYOM we can get to that next level of efficiency.

What is BYOM?

Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) describes the phenomenon where people prefer to host a conference call from their personal device using their preferred conferencing solution (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom etc).

And they choose to ignore the existing meeting room equipment provided to connect remote participants. BYOM is expanding rapidly and three factors are driving this trend:

  • We are more productive when we use our own devices at work

  • We prefer a particular conferencing solution – one with a user experience that appeals to us or fits most closely with how we like to work

  • We avoid using equipment that we don’t understand or find difficult to operate.

Some organisations respond negatively to BYOM and try to prohibit it. However, at Barco we are BYOM advocates, because we believe we are more productive when we use the tools we are most familiar with.

This means using our own devices at work and using the conferencing platforms we prefer. There are three compelling reasons why BYOM should lie at the heart of every Digital Workplace strategy.

The Strategic Reason For BYOM

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a key component of the Digital Workplace strategy of many organisations. It has proved that providing “freedom of choice” empowers individuals and increases personal effectiveness and productivity.

Being able to choose the devices they are most familiar and most competent with has given individuals the confidence they need to save time and do more.

BYOM is a natural extension of BYOD, as it allows people to use the conferencing platform they are most effective with. Given the improvement this makes to personal and group productivity, it is the next strategic step for personal empowerment and collaboration.

BYOM allows organisations to address different dimensions of a highly effective Digital Workplace strategy, in that it allows them to:

  • Gather together and meet anyone, anywhere in their workplace

  • Help a more diverse workforce, including contractors and interns, collaborate and contribute just as much as their employees

  • Choose their workstyle – when and where they work, whether that’s in the coffee shop, at home or on the move

  • Move around freely and use different workspaces for different tasks.

The Practical Reason For BYOM

27% of organisations have tried to mandate the use of a single conferencing or Unified Communications platform by their people. They have not succeeded.

In reality, we use many different conferencing or UC solutions. Over a period of six months, each of us uses an average of no less than six different UC solutions for business purposes. Any attempt to standardise on a single enterprise-wide solution is doomed to fail.

Whichever solution that is chosen as a corporate-standard, employees will continue to meet with clients or suppliers that will invite them to meetings that use other technology than the one available in company meeting rooms.

Employees will keep on downloading and using “free copies” of their preferred product to avoid the struggle with confusing meeting room set ups or difficulties in setting up remote calls.

Unless every organisation moves to the same conferencing platform, a BYOM solution is the only practical approach for enterprises to adopt.

The Financial Reason For BYOM

The third reason for implementing a BYOM strategy is financial. Moving to BYOM can pay for itself in just a few months.

BYOM avoids costs:

  • There is no need for expensive meeting room software licenses

  • Proprietary hardware and software to integrate a specific conferencing solution is no longer required

  • Time wasted waiting to setup meeting room equipment is saved (setup times are typically reduced from 7 minutes to 7 seconds.

The Curious Thing About Conferencing

When it comes to conferencing or Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) there are many different solutions and many good alternatives to choose from.

At Barco, we work closely with the manufacturers and vendors of these products and can vouch for their efficacy. Yet the curious thing about conferencing is, despite the quality of the products, the remote attendees consistently regard their experience as being worse than being in the same room as everyone else.

The lack of engagement remote participants feel should be a major concern for anyone concerned with delivering an effective enterprise.

Why Does This Issue Persist?

In our latest research, carried out earlier in 2019, 69% still believe that having all the participants in the room makes meetings more or much more engaging.

Intrigued, we decided to find out why the remote meeting experience is still perceived as poor and discovered six underlying issues:

  • Vendors are fighting for market dominance – being #1 in the market is their #1 priority and they are building ecosystems and environments that lock organisations in to their specific conferencing solution

  • Vendors have worked with third parties to create a mix of proprietary hardware and software solutions that allow only their specific solution to be shared in a meeting room

  • Organisations often try, but can’t stop their people from using multiple conferencing solutions

  • People struggle to make these solutions work, setting up meeting room equipment typically takes 12% of a meeting’s duration (that’s over seven minutes for a one-hour meeting)

  • A number of organisations have invested in high quality cameras, microphones and sound systems to improve the attendee experience in their meeting rooms, yet people seldom use them e.g. only 30% of people prefer to use the video camera in the room, the other 70% prefer to use the camera on the laptop or device they have brought with them

  • When in-person and remote attendees join a conference they often connect via someone’s laptop in the room, in-room attendees struggle to see and hear remote attendees and vice versa.

BYOM Is The Answer

The majority of people are now unafraid of digital technology (in Barco’s recent research, 74% of people said that they are confident or very confident using new technologies).

This expertise is usually obvious. Most people can setup, manage and join a conference call at their desk quickly and easily, using the solution they prefer.

Increasingly people are using video in these meetings (67% use video regularly or all of the time) and users can see, hear and share with ease.

Unfortunately, when they try to bring that experience to a meeting room, the technology often fails them. They struggle to make things work. Users can’t connect their conference to the display, camera or sound system. They can’t share their call with a proprietary room system. They give up and use their personal device to share the call, and remote attendees can’t see or hear everyone who is there.

With Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) an individual takes the great meeting experience they are familiar with, when they join a conference call at their desk and bring it to any meeting room or huddle space.

Then they enhance it by connecting any equipment that is available in the meeting room to deliver a richer, more collaborative experience for both in-room and remote meeting attendees.

BYOM – take the next step towards the Digital Workplace

With Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM), people meet wherever they like, whenever they need to, using whatever technology they trust. There are strategic, practical and financial reasons why BYOM should lie at the heart of every Digital Workplace strategy.

  • It provides the rich and rewarding meeting experience needed for the workplace of today and tomorrow

  • It solves the problems of many competing and incompatible conferencing solutions

  • It avoids costs and increases return on investment (ROI).

The four key principles of BYOM

There are four principles that any effective BYOM solution should follow. These principles dictate that:

  • Anyone (whether they are an employee, guest, customer, supplier, contractor or intern) can start a meeting anywhere at any time

  • Any conferencing or unified communications (UC) platform or system can be used

  • Any peripheral that is available and could improve the meeting experience, can be employed

  • Anyone can join any conference using any device they have with them.

Barco’s ClickShare delivers on the promise of BYOM

At Barco, we believe that our new range of ClickShare Conference, a portfolio of wireless conferencing products, delivers on the true promise of BYOM and extends a richer collaboration experience to both in-room and remote meeting participants anywhere in an enterprise.

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CX Magazine – February 2020   

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